It’s shaping up to be the summer of dueling seven-figure electric supercars.
But maybe it’s more of a sibling rivalry, as Rimac Nevera and Pininfarina Battista share a common DNA.
Rimac said Tuesday that its $2.5 million 1,914 hp Nevera Offline has already started. Pininfarina announced the next day that production of its $2.5 million battery-electric supercar, the 1,900-horsepower Battista, will begin in August.
If these cars sound similar, it’s because they are: Rimac supplies Pininfarina Battista Uses the same 120kW battery pack and powertrain as the Nevera. Both sprint from zero to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds and are limited to 150 units to maintain exclusivity. Nevera is sold out. Pininfarina expressed strong interest in Battista, but said the company would not “discuss detailed sales figures because our business is about the quality of our customers, not the quantity.”
But how much of a $2.5 million Super GT can the EV market take? Pagani said in June it scrapped plans to build an electric car after a four-year study showed a lack of demand from supercar buyers.
“It’s unlikely that any single brand will make a living on supercar sales alone,” said Stephen Baker, founder and managing partner of management consultancy cg42. “It’s not a practical business model.”
Instead, the success of a seven-figure EV depends on its role in the automaker’s portfolio.
For Rimac, the Nevera is a showcase that will support its main business: supplying advanced battery technology to other automakers. “Pairing a specific high-end niche with a strong B2B component is the type of balance that others should emulate in order to survive,” Baker said.
Analysts say Rimac has a lucrative long-term strategy to supply electric vehicle parts to other automakers including Porsche, Aston Martin and Pininfarina. Given the relative simplicity of building battery-electric powertrains, other suppliers may replicate this business model.
“You can tune the motor to your requirements, but in the end 90 to 95 percent of the motor will be set,” said Arun Kumar, managing director of AlixPartners’ automotive and industrial practice.
Battista has played a more traditional role for Pininfarina: a halo car that could attract new wellness customers to the brand and provide inspiration for Pininfarina’s planned range of electric vehicles. This will be the approach most other legacy brands have taken when building supercar EVs, Kumar said.
According to Automobili Pininfarina CEO Per Svantesson, Battista also serves as a “proof of concept” for Pininfarina’s network of technology partners, while announcing the arrival of a new era of luxury.